Building Trust & Confidence among Auto Shop Customers
In the auto repair business, consumer trust is every bit as essential as having all the right tools and technical know-how. Automotive repair is largely a reputation driven business. Good experiences brings customers back for repeat business and encourages them to recommend your business to their friends and family.
There’s more to building a good business reputation in the automotive repair field than providing reliable repairs and good customer service. Image is also a key part of the equation. Auto repair shops that impress their customers with professional operation and appearance can more easily form a favorable opinion among them, spurring repeat business and referrals. Uniforms from Prudential Overall Supply and other marketing tactics can help boost the reputation of auto repair shops.
Word-Of-Mouth is Critical
Auto repair is a competitive field. There are more than 175,000 auto repair shops in the U.S., including service stations, car dealerships, auto parts stores with bays, discount auto repair shops, and specialty repair shops. The vast majority of auto repair shops are general automotive repair shops.
According to the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center, 81 percent of auto shop owners use word-of-mouth and customer referrals as their primary method of advertising. Studies have shown that when it comes to selecting an auto repair shop, consumers trust the recommendations of their friends, co-workers, and family members more than any other form of marketing outreach.
When auto repair shops create positive experiences for their consumers, they not only retain those consumers’ business, they also make those consumers ambassadors for their shops. Owners of auto repair businesses have several options to create good customer experiences, including high quality service and quick turnaround as well as image-based methods.
Today’s cars, trucks, and SUVs are increasingly technologically sophisticated and auto repair customers want mechanics with the right skills to provide lasting repairs. Many vehicles, particularly high-end luxury vehicles, use a variety of complicated electronic equipment requiring special skills to diagnose and repair. Auto repair mechanics typically obtain extensive training and continuing education to stay current with the latest automotive advances. Displaying certificates of course completion and other educational pursuits will help establish a reputation for technical competence in the minds of customers.
Auto shops should display their mechanics and technicians’ credentials in a prominent spot in the shop to let customers know that they’re working with skilled professionals.
Keep a Clean Shop
Keeping an orderly and neat automotive shop will impress customers and convince them that they’re working with a highly professional business. While it’s impossible for any auto shop’s bays to pass a white glove inspection, the shop should be neatly organized and regularly swept out and cleaned. The customer lobby should have comfortable seating and also be neat and clean. A little time and effort devoted to creating a pleasant atmosphere in the shop can do wonders for retaining customers.
Provide Viewing Options
Windows providing a view of the repair area or video monitors showing the area can help build trust among auto repair consumers. By giving customers the chance to watch their mechanics at work, you’ll increase their confidence in the quality of your services.
It’s a bit old fashioned, but when motorists are urgently searching for a repair shop, they’re not always connected to the Internet. A handy business card can provide a great source of reference to your shop, its services, and its hours. Business cards are inexpensive and are a quick and accessible way of sharing information about your auto repair shop.
Build a Database
Creating a database of your customers can greatly help with your marketing outreach. Gather contact information from your customers at the point of sale and use that in your direct mail and online marketing efforts. Sending loyal customers a coupon or birthday or other discounts will make a favorable personal connection between your business and them.
Build a Social Media Presence
Social media provides a digital means of spreading word of mouth about a business. By building a social media site for your business, you make it easier for happy customers to recommend your business to others. You also establish a direct line of communication between yourself and your customers, allowing you to quickly respond to questions or concerns.
Once you establish a Facebook or Twitter presence, don’t let it just be an idle page. Update your page with pictures of your business, news about new equipment or changes and also make the occasional coupon or discount offer available. Also be sure to include all information about your auto shop on the page, including your hours and address.
By establishing a social media presence, you can help ensure your auto repair shop gets all the favorable online word-of-mouth it deserves.
Another way auto repair shops can create a professional image for their customers is by encouraging their employees to wear uniforms. Uniforms have a number of practical and marketing advantages for auto businesses.
On the practical side, uniforms provide employees with shop safe clothing they can wear. Auto repair uniforms are designed to be flame and tear resistant and also provide protection from the corrosive chemicals they may encounter.
A uniform branded with the repair shop’s name or logo helps to market the business to customers, reminding them of the business’s name. Uniforms also give auto repair shop workers a professional image, differentiating them from shade tree mechanics or fly-by-night services. Uniforms also help your employees by helping them avoid getting their own clothes dirty on the job.
A good uniform will help form a favorable impression in the mind of customers, and may help subtly urge them to return for repeat business and to recommend the shop to friends and relatives.
Prudential Overall Supply is an established provider of uniforms for a variety of businesses. In business since 1932, Prudential Overall Supply has a long track record of supplying businesses with attractive, durable shirts, pants, coveralls, and other clothing. Auto repair shops looking for professional uniforms should trust Prudential Overall Supply to handle their apparel needs.